Marian and Homer (Scrub) Irwin – 1919
Tomorrow, a couple of more pictures of Marian Irwin before she met Lad. (I just came across those pictures.)
Marian and Homer (Scrub) Irwin – 1919
Tomorrow, a couple of more pictures of Marian Irwin before she met Lad. (I just came across those pictures.)
For the next few weekends, I’ll be posting Special Pictures. These are photos that do not pertain directly to the letters I’m posting but are unique and interesting so I want to share them. Enjoy.
This is a picture I just found of the South Pasadena Hospitality Center in South Pasadena, California, where Lad and Marian met and began dating. This was taken during the summer of 1943.
Tomorrow, another Special Picture.
On Monday I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945. Lad and Dick are home. Dan is in France with his bride – and the Army. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.
In this week’s letter, Grandpa admits that he doesn’t have much local news to share so he includes excerpts from letters he’s received from his sons who are scattered around the country. We hear from both Lad and Ced.
Trumbull Conn, August 8, 1943
Dear Sonny: (That means YOU)
In one of Washington Irving’s delightful little essays (from The Sketch Book, I think) there is a fanciful tale of authors whose principal writings consist of thefts from the works of others. As I sit down this afternoon to do my weekly stint, there seems to be so little news to relate that most of this letter will probably consist of extracts from letters received from Lad and Ced – – no word having yet reached us from the other progeny, presumably en route to axe and axis.
You will be interested in Ced’s “Statement of Views: “I still wish we had been able to avoid this war, but as one looks back now, it seems as though the groundwork for the present conflict was laid in the peace settlements of the previous war. Although diplomatic action for peace is theoretically best, I see now that things had gone so far by 1940 – 41 for it to work successfully. With this fact so obvious today it is only common sense which leads me to feel that applied military action was the only method which could achieve a favorable condition for a settlement of the worlds and our problems. Therefore, should the Selective Service call me now I would go into it to do the best I could, though not with joy. Allied victory now appears to be the only road to a pleasant and secure future. My fervent hope is that when victory does, past experience will make Allied leaders wiser and thus prevent another bungling of peace terms and postwar adjustments. For myself, I still hate the thought of killing another man, and hate to think of being partly responsible for the suffering which others would have to undergo at my hands, yet when you figure it out, by fighting and winning the war, there are probably fewer people who, in the long run, would have to suffer. All the above leaves me idealistically unchanged but willing to discard some of this idealism temporarily as a means to an end, which it is hoped will make it possible for all to live in a more peaceful and secure state throughout the world.”
Lad says: “I guess I never told you that my camera and all equipment (about $600) and my portable radio were stolen. I sort of miss both things. My car, however, is O.K., except that a couple of weeks ago I had to put in a new front-end ($23) and as soon as I can get $38 more will put in a new clutch.”
Which reminds me, Lad, that the clutch on my Buick seems to be slipping. Is it possible to have it repaired, do you suppose, or will I have to spend $38 also? The opening comments in your letter regarding the difficulty you are having finding a suitable pen leads me quite naturally to ask, “Why do you not use the pen I sent you? Is it lost, stolen or don’t you like it, or didn’t happen to have along with you?”
I want to say right here and now I know I’m going to like Marian. In fact you can tell her for me that she is a girl after my own heart. Besides being attractive and good
company as you have formerly stated, she is evidently kind, generous and thoughtful of others. Too bad you lost your camera or you might send me a snapshot of her. Your letter also mentions that Junior goes to Maryland in three or four weeks and you will probably get your furlough shortly after. As I figured, that will mean the latter part of August. As soon as you know any more definite date, don’t wait for Marian to suggest your writing to me. What an A-1 birthday present it would be if you could be here on September 11.
Butch and Marty both have Whooping Cough, but because of the inoculation, will get off easy. Grandma and Dorothy are still with us but Grandma expects to get a new pair of glasses Tuesday or Wednesday and will not move to New York until after that happens. Do you remember Harold La Tour? He is back from South America and now is with the daily news.
Ta ta for now.
Tomorrow, a letter from Lad with details of his life at Camp Santa Anita in California. On Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, filled with the latest news of Trumbull, family and friends.
On Saturday and Sunday, the final two posts from the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson. It has been my pleasure to share this triumphant story with you. Enjoy the Photo Album on Sunday.
Today’s post is very short because Lad just doesn’t have much time to write and he’s quite tired. I think that condition was quite common with anyone in military service.
I have just finished spending a few days at March Field where, with six others, we were doing some checking on the general condition of ordnance equipment.(It was in fair condition.) March Field is a Bomber Base, and therefore I had a pretty good chance to see a number of different U. S. airships close up. Some of them are surprisingly large, and all of them seem to be well built and maintained.
I’m on C. Q. right now and do not have any of your letters with me, so I’ll just have to answer the things I can remember.
I got the bathing suit O. K., but you addressed it Co. “A” and not “D”, so it took about four days longer than it should.
I made some inquiry again about the check, and it seems as if it should be all straightened out now. However, if not, let me know, and I’ll not stop inquiring until I know something very definite about it.
Things down here have been going on much the same as usual, and everything here is, as usual, all messed up. The days have been pretty warm lately, but it is cool and even cold, at night, which makes it nice sleeping.
I’m a little too tired to write a very comprehensive letter, if I go on, so I’m going to call it quits right now, at 4:15 AM. Remember me to Grandma and Aunt Betty– etc.
Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.
Camp Santa Anita
June 14, 1943
This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.
No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.
On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.
My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center, sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.
I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.
This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.
P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.
Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.
Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)
Notice this writing paper was supplied by the U.S.O. – THE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS * THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICE * THE SALVATION ARMY * THE YOUNG WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION * THE JEWISH WELFARE BOARD * THE NATIONAL TRAVELER’S AID ASSOCIATION
April 21, 1943
Things have been going too-well and therefore I have not gotten around to writing. I am using my new pen. Thanks. It is O.K. I would prefer a wider point, but to get one I will also require a heavier pressure, which I don’t want. So I’ll use this as it is.
I got my three-day pass as scheduled, but the girl who owns the house on Arrowhead Lake was taken sick just before we were to leave and so we called it off. She has since undergone an operation, and is much better, so I hope that we will be able to make it on our next pass.
General Campbell came out to Santa Anita today, and we spent all afternoon in the broiling sun on the parade ground, dressed in our O.D. uniforms, helmets and no ties. Gee-the helmets are hot, even though they are two-piece (inner – fiber: outer steel).
I am now a Sergeant and have been given the same type of job as I had in Aberdeen, chief of section, which calls for a Staff rating. Therefore, I expect that in two or three months I shall be given a chance to take the Staff exam. Nothing definite as yet, however. As to our course in Diesel Fundamentals – it is still in the air.
Last Saturday I bowled 180 – my highest game. I’m getting better, slowly but surely, and someday, before long, I hope I’ll hit better than 200, which is considered above the average.
You mentioned something in your last letter about Dan seeing a notice on his bulletin board concerning overseas. We have not heard anything definite as yet, but activities seem to point toward something of that sort for most of us. There are some, however, who are considered indispensable, and I have a very good chance of being in the latter group.
It is 10:00 Wed. eve and I’m at the Hospitality House, and my feet are just aching for a dance, so adios.
My love to all.
This weekend I’ll post more of Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.
Next week, I’ll begin posting letters from 1945. We will finally hear about Dan’s wedding to Paulette.
HOSPITALITY CENTER OF SOUTH PASADENA
435 FAIR OAKS AVENUE
SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
Dear Dad: –
Here I am again. – And also, much time has elapsed my last epistle and this, but I will try to cover everything that has elapsed, which is getting easier. Camp regulations are becoming worser by the day.
First, however, an answer to your note. This friend of mine, here, purchased a certified check for $595.00 from a bank, and instead of mailing it to me, here, it was sent to Bridgeport by Airmail, special delivery (according to available information). Immediately upon receipt of this info, I sent you the remainder, and you should know the rest, better than I.
We are being further and further restricted. In fact, it is very hard to get off every other weekend now. [And rumor has it that very shortly we will be no longer associated with O.T.C. but with S.C.U. (Service Command Unit) which will, in all probability, mean six hour passes once every 3 or 4 days, and one weekend out of every 7 or 8 – Oh, me]
I have heard from Hartford direct, so forget about the licenses. Thanks.
Lad and Marian in South Pasadena, 1943
We went to the beach last Sunday, but the wind blew too much sand around to make it pleasant. However the weather is perfect. I may get a furlough sometime in July or August, but nothing definite as yet. My love to all.
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